Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Now it mighn't be what Ant Moore had planned for the first release of his new Sauvignon Blanc venture, but it turned out in the end.

After an abysmal start to the season (but thankfully without the previous years' frosts), to say "it turned out" is an understatement. This newbie Sauvy is indeed a spectacular first effort. Not new though, is the winemaker, ex-Isabel estate, Ant Moore, whose wines with that organisation were stellar indeed.

As mentioned, the weather of December and early January was unseasonable - to say the least - and crops matched temperatures on the lower end. Marlborough finally warmed to the task later in January and these prime conditions made up for the poor start to the season.

But it was not to be a perfect year, and summer turned to be shorter than hoped. The early cool weather and frosts led to crop thinning to get the ripest fruit possible.

"My goal is to make a wine that has not just intensity, but complexity and interest on the palate. I’m really looking for a wine that will evolve in the glass and open up as it is consumed, revealing a variety of flavours and textures. This 2005 Catalina Sounds is such a wine." - Ant Moore

He has been quoted many times with this comment but it couldn't be more true. The conditons, inherent to a classic Sauvignon, has resulted in a classic wine but not in the sweaty and over the top fashion of most. Ant has achieved his goal with this Sauvignon Blanc.

A pale wine, it has but the merest hint of green. The nose is initially fragrant with subtle lemony/lime and some herb/grassiness. Give it a minute for the tropical fruit to come through. A sauvy that I wish I could inhale forever.

Palate is all about flavour with some minerally characters, a balanced acidity and a surprising textural statement. Or not so surprising given its time on lees and the small percent of barrel ferment. It is a mouthful.. all class through to a fantastic dry finish.

A new favourite, the price point also makes it an unbeatable bargain. Perfect for a selection of seafood and possibly some rice paper wrapped appetizers.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Gli Amari

Crodino. One of the typical Italian amari or bitter drinks. Calling them "bitter" is a little misleading. Yes, they ARE bitter but only when compared to the sickly sweet of mainstream soda. There is still sugar in there but it is counter to the refreshing, quenching effect of the acidity and herbal bitterness. There are several other types but this one is my favourite.

Well chilled, straight up, or with a slice of lemon, it is the perfect foil for the heat after a day spent 'in giro'.